The Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established at the Summit of Heads of State and Government on 17 August 1992 in Windhoek, Namibia by the signing of the Treaty. Currently SADC is composed of 15 member states, namely: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The SADC Secretariat based in Gaborone, Botswana is the executive wing of SADC tasked with the responsibility of managing and coordination of implementation of programmes.
The mission of SADC is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient productive systems, deeper co-operation and integration, good governance, and durable peace and security, so that the region emerges as a competitive and effective player in international relations and the world economy.
Eradication of poverty and improvement of the well being of the people of the SADC region through regional integration and cooperation is the ultimate goal of SADC projects and programmes.
The objectives of SADC include the following:
- to achieve development and economic growth, alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the people of Southern Africa and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration;
- to evolve common political values, systems and institutions;
- to promote and defend peace and security;
- to promote self-sustaining development on the basis of collective self-reliance, and the interdependence of Member States;
- to achieve complementarity between national and regional strategies and programmes;
- to promote and maximise productive employment and use of the Region’s resources;
- to achieve sustainable use of natural resources and effective protection of the environment; and
- to strengthen and consolidate the long-standing historical, social and cultural affinities and links among the people of the Region.
As well as these objectives, SADC Member States underscore the need to ensure that poverty alleviation is addressed in all SADC activities and programmes with the ultimate objective of eradicating it. HIV/AIDS is a major threat to the attainment of the objectives of SADC and is thus accorded priority in all SADC programmes and activities
In 2003 the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), which provides SADC with a framework for regional development over the period 2005-2020, setting the priorities, policies and strategies to achieve the long-term goals of SADC was adopted by the SADC Heads of State and Government. Statistics is recognized as one of the cross-sectoral intervention areas under the RISDP, as the availability of relevant, timely and accurate statistical information is viewed as essential for the design, monitoring and evaluation of regional policies and programmes implementation.
The RISDP identifies five key intervention areas for Statistics namely: development of the SADC statistics protocol; harmonization of statistics in the SADC region; provision of relevant statistics for regional integration, development of a regional statistics database including a database on poverty indicators and statistical capacity development.
The SADC Statistics Programme in the Directorate of Policy, Planning and Resource Mobilization of the SASDC Secretariat is responsible for the implementation and coordination of relevant statistical projects through annual business plans. Among other things, the programme aims at achieving the harmonization of statistical concepts, definitions and methods among member states; coordination of regional statistics; enhancement and promotion of statistical capacity building of National statistical systems in SADC member states; and collection, processing, storage and dissemination of National statistical data and collation into relevant and reliable regional statistics.
Implementation of the SADC Statistics Programme is generally overseen by the SADC Statistics Committee whose de facto membership comprises of Heads of National Statistical Offices of respective member states. In this regard the Committee is also responsible for the provision of policy and strategic guidance regarding development of statistics in the region. The Committee generally meets annually.
Statistical projects implemented in the SADC region over the years have benefited from financial and technical support from bilateral and multilateral organizations. Notable among these include the European Union, World Bank, United Nations Population Fund, Rocker Feller Foundation, United Nations Statistics Divisions, African Development Bank, and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).
Priority areas for harmonisation of statistics in SADC include International Merchandise Trade Statistics, Consumer Price Statistics, National Accounts, and Population and Censuses.
Received October 2010